Tyler, Ostler start missions with LDS

In Peru and Utah, they will be among first to use social media

At some point most Hood River residents have run into missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in their white shirts and ties, but they might not know that two local young adults recently left to serve similar missions in other parts of the world.

Hood River Valley High School graduates Chad Tyler and Alex Ostler have joined in a long tradition of members of the church leaving Hood River to share their religion’s message across the earth.

Some missionaries are asked to serve overseas, others in the United States. Tyler is serving in Salt Lake City, Utah. Despite being home to the headquarters of the LDS church, only about half the city’s members are Mormon.

Ostler is serving in Cusco, Peru. She left for the Missionary Training Center on June 5.

“I am so excited to fall in love with the beauty of Peru and the people who live there,” she said before she left.

Ostler and Tyler will spend the next two years proselytizing door to door, teaching the LDS doctrine to interested parties and doing service. In order to minimize distractions they have committed to giving up things like television and secular music while on mission.

Young men and women who choose to apply for missionary service must be recommended by their ecclesiastical leaders as worthy.

Tyler is following in the footsteps of his older brother Reese, who served a mission in Recife, Brazil. In order to prepare for his mission he studied his church’s doctrine and learned to cook, clean and otherwise live away from home.

During high school he was active in the Lions’ Follies for four years and helped with the fourth of July fireworks. He left for his mission on May 8.

Ostler has been studying therapeutic recreation at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. While in high school she played several sports (cross country, track and ski team) and enjoys outdoor activities like windsurfing, rock climbing and mountain biking — all things she is giving up for the next year and a half in order to minimize distractions while delivering a message that is even more important to her.

“I have the sacred responsibility to let people know how much their Heavenly Father loves them, that he has a plan for them, and that families can be together for eternity,” she said.

Ostler is following in the footsteps of her parents, who met while each was serving a mission in the Birmingham, Ala., area. However, she said she isn’t just going on a mission because it’s what her parents did — she said being a member of the LDS church brings her happiness and she wants to bring others that same happiness. She also firmly believes its doctrines are true.

“I have prepared for a mission by really finding out for myself if the church is true. No one should do anything half way, especially religion. I have read The Book of Mormon many times and believe it is the word of God,” Olster said.

Sharing that message in Spanish will be a little harder, but Ostler said even though she is nervous about dealing with a language she only took for a few years in high school she feels her message is an important one.

Both Tyler and Ostler will be some of the first missionaries to try out a recently-announced 21st century approach to missionary work that will include proselytizing and answering questions on Facebook during slow times of the day.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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